Bird News Friday 31st December

5 Velvet Scoter and 2 LT Duck were seen off Murlough (Oscar Campbell)
An impressive count of 15+ Goosanders were on the River Main at the footbridge between Randalstown Forest and Shanes Castle. Also a Dipper there. 40+ Jays in Randalstown Forest. Another Goosander and 7 Gadwall were west of Cranfield Point. (Dermot Hughes)
The male Feruginous Duck (and hybrid), and a Mealy Redpoll were at Craigavon North Lake.
A female Smew, two female and one male Goosander were at Lough Island Reavy Co. Down
Six Little Egret were seen from Castle Espie, Co. Down.
30 Slavonian Grebes were between Ballykelly and the Roe Estuary, Lough Foyle. A female Merlin and a Peregrine were at Ballykelly. 4 Yellowhammer were nearby at Broighter Rd. Another Peregrine was at Myroe. The adult Ring-billed Gull was still at East Strand car park, Portrush (Neal Warnock)
On the Antrim side of Belfast Lough 1,178 Scaup and a male LT Duck were off
Loughshore Park. The intermedius type LBB Gull was still at Whitehouse
Lagoon (Stuart McKee).

In south Down 800 Common Scoter (in two flocks) were off Murlough along with 100 GC Grebe, 8 Scaup, 10 RT Diver and a male LT Duck. 250 Sanderling, 100 Knot and 50 Dunlin were on the beach. An even larger flock of Common Scoter was off Tyrella (Keith Bennett).

8 Brambling were in a garden in Ballyholme, Bangor.

Michael Stinson has a roost of 21 Wrens using the eaves of his house at Lower Lough Erne. This months Birdwatch magazine contains an excellent article on bird roosts.

Ring -billed Gull, Whitehouse Lagoon, Jeff Higgott
1 no.Great Northern Diver at Ballygally and another 3 at Carnlough along with 10-14 Bottlenose Dolphins (Pauline Majury)
May we wish everyone a peaceful, prosperous and bird filled New Year.

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